Skip to content

Director’s Update: NIMH on the National Dialogue on Mental Health

The statement  by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on President Obama’s Sandy Hook Response Plan emphasized the importance of ensuring that people who experience mental illness, especially the young, receive effective treatment. Her emphasis on the young is apt: research has shown that most mental disorders diagnosed in adulthood have their origins in childhood and adolescence. One focus of NIMH research is on developing the means to diagnose mental disorders early enough to enable prompt and effective intervention, preventing more serious, lasting illness. The benefits of early detection and treatment are widespread and enduring; for many, effective early intervention and treatment will enable them to learn, work, and engage in a fully productive life.